a reply to: LiveForever8
Well... I do not know about you, but I tend to give total nonsense pretty short shrift myself.
Personally speaking, I am interested in the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy or the universe, than our own planet. However, I
cannot say, given the evidence which I have seen thus far, that we are or have been visited by such intelligences. There are cases which, despite
years of research and very good, reliable witnesses, have yet to be fully understood, and it is very possible that they never will be for one reason
or another, but I tend to apply the reasonable doubt measure to matters such as these, and there is a significant amount of reasonable doubt around to
be had in these cases.
The UFO issue is just one of the many conspiracies out there which is often held up as being responsible for some of the bad reputation that
conspiracy theory has in general, as are the call of "The Queen is an alien reptile!" and the joke that never gets old "Steven Greer is a
legitimate source of information, and so is Alex Collier!".
To address your point about the contents of your average conspiracy convention, I must ask your forbearance while I lay out a counter argument.
I am a metal head, and I am fanatical about my music. I go to a metal festival every year, and it is full of other fanatical metal heads. I love lots
of bands, and lots of bands that I love show up to these events! There are however, people who like a couple of metal bands, who would only enjoy a
few of the bands that show up, and so they do not come to the festival, because they would rather concentrate their efforts on the stuff they really
like, by going to a couple of gigs a year, featuring only the couple of bands that they really, really enjoy! There are more people doing that in any
given year, than there are people who go to the festivals.
With conspiracy conventions, I personally see little point in attending any such thing, because although I like to think about these things and
ruminate on their implications, I am also fundamentally aware that:
a) I am not fanatical about conspiracy theory, because to be fanatical about something which requires logic and reason, is somewhat missing the point
of the whole affair, and does the enemies of truth and freedom more good than it does me, and...
b) That when one compares the number of things one hears about during a year, and the number of conspiracies one actually BELIEVES the tales of, one
is often left with the impression that the signal to noise ratio is firmly biased toward the "total nonsense" category. The canny conspiracy
theorist therefore, knows that a great many stands at the local convention, are likely to be taken up with products and information about the most
unbelievable twaddle one has ever heard of in ones life, ownership or possession of which would mark one out as either having a marvelous sense of
humour, or absolutely no capacity to separate the real world, from the landscape of ones dreamland.
However, these things do not mean that conspiracy theorising is bad. It just means that undertaking a mental discipline which requires logic and
reason, and becoming fanatical about it to the point where reason and logic are abandoned in favour of a thrilling narrative or a reason to hate on
the government, is bad. Thinking about the issues reasonably, evenly, without bias against or toward any particular group, race, religious conviction,
or continental powerblock, and thinking about things from the perspective of the human race, not individual nation states, the better to shrug off
propaganda from various sources, and maintain objectivity, THAT is a good thing, and always will be. THAT is what I believe it is to be a conspiracy
theorist, in the best sense, and I think that they are in the quieter majority, than the louder, but more foolhardy conspiracy thinkers.